Reelz Channel to air discredited JFK theory

Reelz Channel JFK showReelz Channel’s new JFK documentary claiming that a Secret Service agent shot President Kennedy is based on a 30-year old book which triggered a lawsuit from the agent involved, resulting in a formal apology from the book’s publishers.

In short, this JFK theory, touted by veteran TV reporter Bill Kurtis, has already been discredited and debunked. The program, “JFK: The Smoking Gun,” which airs tonight on the Reelz Channel, suggests falsely that George Hickey Jr., a member of the presidential security detail on November 22, 1963, accidentally shot Kennedy. There is no evidence for this bogus theory: No eye witness testimony or photographic evidence supports the claim despite the fact that the alleged shooting took place in front of hundreds of witnesses and several cameras.

Nonetheless, the documentary has attracted credulous coverage from the Huffington Post, Newsday and other news outlets that don’t do fact checking.

The Reelz Channel program recycles the bogus claims of a book called ”Mortal Error: The Shot That Killed JFK,” by Bonar Menninger that was based on the research of man named Howard Donahue. Historically absurd, “Mortal Error” was legally libelous when published in 1992 because Hickey was alive.

Hickey had been a bystander to the president’s murder, nothing more. In retirement he scarcely deserved such allegations. Washington attorney Jim Lesar (who ably represented me in the Morley v. CIA lawsuit), and national security defense attorney Mark Zaid, took up Hickey’s case after “Mortal Error” was published. They sued Donahue, publisher St. Martin’s Press, and Simon and Schuster (which published an audio version of the book), and the case was litigated and settled.

As Mark Zaid told me by email, “Settlements were reached in each case and the publisher apologized.”

“I wish George Hickey, Jr. was still alive,” he added. “I  would have filed a lawsuit against this theorist and film company, as well as any media entity that gave his story any play.

Now Hickey is dead and forgotten and the bogus story has resurfaced.

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131 comments

  1. Hans Trayne says:

    For the benefit of those agonizing from not being able to pick up the Reelz channel, I understand the DVD is available in some stores (Best Buy for one)for around 25 bucks.

    Of all the theories floated globally over the last half century I halfway expected this one to appeal to the CIA, Pentagon & Mafia because the finger doesn’t point to any of their compadres; but it appears even those groups are steering clear of it.

    Instead of specifically naming SS Agent Hickey as the culprit, Bonar Menninger maybe should have extended his gunfire origin back to LBJ’s grey Lincoln or LBJ’s guards immediately following it?

    More people would probably believe LBJ shot KFK to death than Hickey IMO.

    • marty says:

      i was two when jfk was murdered over my years in school i have listened to my parents talk of this and seen many movies and documentary’s on this event and i must say jfk solved on reels channel is the most far fetched one yet…just saying

  2. Jon Boles says:

    It is unusual to find a theory, however, that pisses off CT’s and LN’s alike.

  3. Jon Boles says:

    Also, minor correction: The book was published in 1992.

  4. Marcus Hanson says:

    Hmmm… I believe there is evidence for practically EVERY theory – the issue is rarely COMPLETE lack of evidence , but the quality and probative value of it. OK ,the theory has been discredited,most notably IMO by the Bronson film. Unsurprisingly , there is no mention of the film in this documentary.Neither did The Smoking Gun offer any rigorous ballistics testing- shooting a couple of melons with two different types of ammo, of course , does not count!

    You should have mentioned that Bonar Menninger says the lawsuit was settled for “business reasons” and NOT as an admission of error or agreement.
    =BEFORE= the lawsuit was filed , I asked the head of the former SS agents , Hamilton Brown , why Mr.Hickey had not sued.
    He was , understandably , guarded in his tone , but he said to me it was because “he(Hickey)could not find a lawyer worth a damn”.
    Isn’t that odd,given that Mr.Hickey lived in Washington , DC ?

    Still , was Mr.Donahue malicious ? No,certainly not.
    Was he some nutjob? Again,certainly not. He put me in touch with the two police ballisticians who studied – and endorsed – his findings.

    I was fortunate enough to meet them both.
    It is not clear why Mr.McLaren makes no mention( at least, not in the documentary ) of their work : like he , they were both police officers and both from Sydney , Australia.Possibly he mentions them in the book , but I do not intend to buy it to find out.
    Oddly , you will find the name of only ONE of the ballisticians in internet searches. The other officer was his senior , but I can find nothing connecting him to the study.

    A non-scientific point in favour of their study , is that it was wholly independent and free of any of the petty political influences mooted to taint so many other studies in this case.
    Mr.McLaren,like Mr.Donahue,makes use of the testimony of various Secret Service agents to support the theory.
    That is reasonable – even if it can be viewed as the behaviour of a prosecutor , rather than an objective investigator – but among the obvious problems are :

    1)If there WAS a huge cover-up orchestrated by Roy Kellerman , why would these agents offer what was , in effect , supporting testimony for the theory ? The viewer is invited to infer that Mr.Kellerman exercised a great deal of authority – so how come he could not bring these agents into line ??

    2)How could Roy Kellerman have known of any AR-15 shot from the follow-up car AND quickly isolated Mr.Hickey to ascertain exactly what happened AND kept his fellow SS agents out of the loop ?

    3)Although the theory does not require more than three shots , why would Kellerman create ANY controversy in his WC testimony by stating his belief that there were MORE THAN three shots ? Surely if there was a cover-up , he’d just go with the flow , would he not?

    It is fair to focus on Roy Kellerman – but only fully and not by just cherry- picking the bits to fit the theory.That is disingenuous – can’t have it BOTH ways.

    • Daniel W says:

      No offense Mr. Hanson, but you obviously know nothing about “ammo”. If you did you would understand that it most certainly DOES count! FMJ(full metal jacket) bullets don’t explode,mushroom, or fragment on impact, Hollow-point and Soft-tip bullets DO. All the shell casings found at “Oswald’s perch” were from FMJ Ammo. Which means that the bullet that made JFK’s head “explode” could NOT have been a FMJ cartridge and could NOT have been fired by Oswald! That is why the melon shot experiment “DOES COUNT”! The size of the entrance hole was also smaller than the hole that would have been made by Oswald ammo…etc…perhaps you should watch it again? just sayin…

      • Greg says:

        FMJ bullets can and often do break apart in a wound, especially at such a close range.
        When a high powered rifle bullet first leaves the muzzle the base of the bullet “yaws” causing the nose of the bullet to wobble.
        This is a very well known and understood phenomena. It was noted before WW1 that bullets striking metal plates at 100 yards were less likely to penetrate than those striking at 200 yards or more. At the longer ranges the bullet had settled in with point steady on course.

        The ammo Oswald used was Winchester manufacture ammo that was known for bullet break up due to improperly annealed jackets and the crimping pressure at the neck during manufacture. This left an embrittled weakened ring in the jacket about midway of the bullet’s length.
        The supposed small caliber pistol bullet recovered was actually the broken away nose of the bullet.

        I’ve studied bullet design for many years, especially the history of military ammunition types. None of this is new information.

        • Anon says:

          @Greg, yes an fmj round can fragment if defective but it will not cause a frontal lobe blowout like we saw on JFK. If a defective fmj round fragmented it would stay within the skull in thousands of pieces and liquify the brain. The only way you get a catastrophic explosion like that is by using a hollow point variant which is c and was commonly used by the secret service and law enforcement. There is also no way Oswald could cause an exit wound on the front right lobe of JFK when he himself was on the right side of the street. If Oswald’s shot caused that injury we would have seen the president’s left cheek bone blowout due to the angle. The upper right frontal lobe exploding is definitely indicative of a ground level shot from either directly behind the President or slightly to the left and behind. I know these facts because I studied forensic science at the university level and I am also an NRA certified Pro Marksman in high power sporting rifle.

          • Forensics Prof says:

            Despite your claimed credentials (which have little bearing) Your assertions are simply incorrect. Your comments show a misunderstanding of the behavior of bullets in relation to the human skull. Hollow point projectiles are certainly NOT the only way to get the blow-out fractures found in this case. Being essentially a sealed container, the pressure developed inside the skull from a gunshot can, and often will, create a blow-out with projectiles such as the one involved here. As for the trajectory, why do you assume that the bullet, particularly given the fact that it broke up inside the skull, had to continue on a straight path? Your assumptions are seriously flawed.

      • Cyrustrance4190@gmail.com says:

        First, a melon is not ballistic jell and is worthless.

        Second, the bullet that struck Kennedy in the neck did not hit bone, it hit soft tissue.

        Thirdly, the bullet that struck Kennedy’s head struck bone before it struck the soft tissue of the brain and exited.

        You cannot compare what happens to a FMJ round when it hits soft tissue to what happens when that FMJ round hits bone.

        Studies show that FMJ rounds deform and fragment when hitting bone.

        • Thrane says:

          Cyrustrance4190@gmail.com, you need to go back and read the documents again. The first bullet did hit bone. If you remember, after the bullet went through JFK it entered the Texas governor. The same bullet his the fifth rib in the governor before exiting.

          • Forensics Prof says:

            Yes, it did, and the deformity in the bullet shows this. But it had slowed considerably by that point and it hit the bone in a very different manner than the projectile that struck the skull. Cyrustrance4190 comments are all perfectly valid. You, however, are “comparing apples to oranges,” which is even more pointless than comparing melons to skulls.

  5. Tony S says:

    Your totally wrong when you say their is no evidence suggesting this agent shot JFK by accident. The documentary showed all of us how it was done, why their was a cover-up (to protect one of their own). This is by far the best theory I have ever seen before my very eyes. They even showed photos of Hickey with the rifle right behind the presidents limo. Two shots ring out and when Hickey pulled the rifle out to protect the President the driver floored the car and his rifle when off by accident. It is a total shame of what happened. And I can see why they protected him after such a terrible event. Makes total sense to me.

    • Rich says:

      Nicely said Tony I totally agree , this is the first story I’ve ever heard that even comes close to making any since.
      Perhaps one day some one involved will actually release something substantiating this.
      Keep in mind that most of the SS agents were only in there twenties or early thirties at that time so we may still have several years to wait.

    • Les says:

      I like you found the show had very valid points. And with all things being equal, the most simple answer is usually the right one.

      • Brian Sausser says:

        More specifically, Occam’s razor.

        I don’t really trust the comments of people that use exclamation points, and capital letters (Marcus Hanson). Not sure why the point cannot be made reasonably and dispassionately.

        I would have been more satisfied if the people close to Hickey could have been shown either to have witnessed the accidental shot, or been coerced to stay quite.

        I would have preferred a larger conspiracy, however Occam’s Razor (not withstanding my own reservations) is compelling enough to say “It was probably an accident.”

    • Lanny K says:

      See if this makes sense to you, Tony. The two most important passengers and known assassination witnesses in the Secret Service follow-up car were NOT Secret Service agents. They were Ken O’Donnell and Dave Powers, two of President Kennedy’s senior staff members and perhaps two of the men closest to him personally outside of his immediate family.

      They sat in jump seats directly behind three agents in the front seat and directly in front of agent Hickey and two other agents in the rear seat. O’Donnell told the Warren Commission that he had a clear look at JFK’s fatal head shot and called it a “perfect shot.” I feel certain that had that shot originated a mere foot or two from the back of his own head, as any discharge of Hickey’s AR-15 would have been, O’Donnell would have had no trouble hearing it or locating its source — even without following the smell of the gunpowder.

      When any book, article or broadcast program makes a big show of meticulously examining a cornucopia of detailed evidence only to turn a blind eye to one of the most glaringly obvious and relevant evidentiary facts known to the writers and producers of that work, it’s hardly a rash or unfair judgment to question what other suspect motives or hidden agendas might be in play.

      What we do know is that the failure of O’Donnell and Powers to identify an accidental discharge of any Secret Service Agent’s firearm within the follow-up car effectively eliminates that possibility as a contributing factor to President Kennedy’s death.

      Period.

      • Steve says:

        My only question in response to why anyone, best friend of the President or not, would not admit that a Secret Service agent discharged his weapon and killed the President is this: How would the Soviets have responded to such news, especially after JFK’s masterful handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis?

        • Lanny K says:

          I don’t believe the Soviets would have had any specific predictable response other than perhaps their disinclination to agree with your analysis that Kennedy’s handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis was “masterful.”

          What response would you have anticipated?

      • Andrew says:

        Open your mind. Imagine this. Powers and O’Donnell are witnesses to Hickey shooting JFK. They are approached by the Secret Service and the FBI and told that if the public is told the true story, it will do irreparable damage to the government. For this reason, they are told to keep it quiet, and if they do speak up, they will be branded as kooks and their careers will be ruined (or they will die).

        • Lanny K says:

          I am at a total loss to understand why the accidental shooting of the President by a Secret Service member, were it in fact true, would do more irreparable damage to the government than 50 years of allowing millions of Americans to wonder if JFK was killed by the Russians, or Castro, or the Mafia, or even LBJ or the CIA.

          What is the greater advantage in having these scurrilous fantasies hang over our heads for decades?

          I am particularly mystified why people like yourself spend so much time chasing ephemeral scenarios of the remotest possibilities to the exclusion of following the far more probable factual evidences of ballistics and forensics in an uncompromising effort to find out what actually happened.

          The contrast is maddening.

      • Anthony says:

        Lanny K. you could not have stated it more clearly and correctly. What was also missing in this documentary was the fact of the 3 african-american men who were co-workers of Oswald were sitting watching the motorcade looking out the window
        on the floor directly below the window that Oswald fired from. There are still documented photos of them. They testified before the Warren Commission and subsuquent inquiry panels. All 3 testified that they heard 3 shots and after each shot they heard the spent casing hit the wooden floor. The floor above them was being repaired and there was only a thin layer of plywood. They even heard the bolt of the rifle go back and forth. Any mention of them in this documentary? No. Just some bogus excuse for the finding of 3 spent casings near the window…that one of them was empty? But the 3 witnesses say the shots they heard above them lined up with the sound of the casings hitting the floor. These people who publish these books and make these documentaries are cowards, plain and simple. Shame on them for omitting facts to try to sell their story. They are worse than the Warren Commission they they criticize because they are 50 years after the fact…and with all the facts.

        • Andrew says:

          The Hickey-shot-him-theory does not exclude someone firing from the TBD bldg. In fact, it includes it. There may be some disagreement about how many shots were fired, but that is minor.

        • Gerry Simone says:

          People saw someone in the sixth floor window wearing different clothes than Oswald.

          The HSCA confirmed boxes moved by analyzing extant photos that prove somebody was there after Oswald allegedly left and before the cops arrived.

          Lylian Mooneyham’s testimony of an onlooking shooter from the 6th floor window goes against Oswald hanging around the crime scene like that.

          There was somebody up there all right (as heard by those witnesses to the floor below), but it likely was not Oswald.

    • Guy Fischer says:

      I completely agree!! It’s amazing to me that this isn’t getting worldwide attention! I can understand the cover up..it would have been devestating for our country to deal with the idea that the loss of this beloved President, and the hope he represented, was due to such a freak accident. But now, we should know ! This evidence is so very clear! Perhaps we would rather believe in a conspiracy.

    • R. l. Ingalls says:

      Hi, the photo you refer to was taken in a different location, I saw a larger one with background signage, it was nearer to Parkland.

  6. Hans Trayne says:

    A kind person has uploaded the entire documentary here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqg7CHEUJh0

    This will help until folks can purchase the DVD.

    The other JFK program broadcast last night (‘Fatal View’ by Travel Channel)is also on YouTube but costs a couple dollars to view & download & requires a credit/debit card.

  7. Heidi says:

    I must say that I went in with the attitude that this was going to be a bad theory, and that everything was just wrong. However, I had a complete 180 by the end of the 2 hours. I found the theory completely plausible. I would have liked to have seen more debunking, like some of the JFK Unsolved History episodes, but again, this theory makes sense to me.

  8. Larry Hancock says:

    It would be helpful to examine the photos of the secret service car showing it in front of the school book depository at the time of the shooting. There are are least a couple showing a very clear view of the agents in the car – with no sign of a rifle and no sign of an agent reaching for a rifle at that point.

    The photo showing the agent with the rifle is taken with the car on the other side of the overpass moving out on the freeway. Quite a different story. The civil case against the author and publisher brought out the actual evidence of the photos quite clearly, totally undercutting the shooting scenario presented in the book/special. An internet search will provide details on the court case and settlement.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Analysis of the Bronson or Nix film shows that Hickey did NOT have an unobstructed view of the President’s head.

      The only part I truly agree with that Australian detective is that it was unlikely for Oswald to have scored the fatal headshot due to the difficulty of that shot and his inferior marksmanship after so many years out of the Marines, etc. etc. and in contrast with Mortal Error’s co-author, Howard Donahue who duplicated Oswald’s feat but only on his third attempt in his capacity as a weapon’s engineer.

  9. Hans Trayne says:

    When Jim DiEugenio reviews this program & posts his observations online I expect him to praise the production for including what appears to be scaled vehicles & humans in the trajectory analysis, something that has been missing from the very beginning from US government investigations analysis & media productions backing those investigations up. Here, for the very 1st time we can see representations of the guards & their car tailgating JFK’s parade car before & during the ambush & possible obstructions they may have made to any shooter firing at JFK from his rear. To this day both horizontal & vertical clearance to JFK from a TSBD sniper’s nest shooter has not visually been established for the entire length of the kill zone that the locomotive/caboose combo of JFK’s parade car & its agents tailgating it traveled down the slope of Elm Street; JFK is almost always inaccurately represented as traveling solo down Elm Street with nothing immediately behind him.

    I also expect Jim to fault the program for not extending the gun shot origin trajectory line to behind & slightly above agent Hickey & follow it to where it leads (Dal-Tex or Records building?); not doing so cheated the program from allowing a ‘avenue out’ for those not buying that agent Hickey fell & accidentally discharged his AR-15 but instead holding onto the idea someone else fired at JFK from behind agent Hickey.

    If there is any snake oil in the program we didn’t catch Jim will spot it & comment on it.

  10. Alex Grills says:

    The common theories regarding JFK’s assassination are usually based on hear say and Hollywood manipulation. The Oliver Stone film JFK influenced America more than the incident itself as far as I’m concerned. The most prevalent theory, that JFK was killed by the “military industrial complex”(which does exist, although whether it does to create American jobs or take over the world, or both, who knows.. but that’s a whole other issue) doesn’t ever take into account that weeks before Oswald shot Kennedy, he shot and wounded a far right, pro-war retired conservative general. He had the means and the abilities, was mentally unstable and seeking revenge on the American government that opposed his beliefs, and the American people that universally rejected him(not that he received a hero’s welcome while living exiled in the Soviet Union).

    I think a lot of us are just bothered by the fact nobody is untouchable and bad things can happen for no good reason. What objectives of the sinister conspiracists was accomplished AFTER JFK’s death? Why would they choose such a far left communist sympathizer to kill such a far left communist sympathizer? That’s a joke but really if you guys want a legitimately shady conspiracy that ties into the same themes, read about the mysteriously convenient death of Dag Hammerskjold, JFK referred to him as the greatest statesman of his era and the official U.N. account goes against everything known to man about ballistics.

  11. Dave says:

    Funny the documentary doesn’t show this view of the fatal shot. You can see how many people,including police officers,are right next to the follow up vehicle. If someone Fired a high powered rifle that close to so many witnesses, someone would surely react , see it or hear it. Also, with some enhancing of the film, you would be able to see if the secret service agent has his gun in a position to accidentally shoot JFK..

    http://www.jfkassassinationgallery.com/displayimage.php?pid=1260&fullsize=1

    • fred flint says:

      you get your ballistics training from Nancy Polosi. an AR15 is hardly a “high powered” military rifle. It is a small caliber weapon that stirred a big controversy for its size when it was deployed in Vietnam. What the weapon lost in power it made up for in wound size. Unlike the carcano type weapon with a bullet that would penetrate 25 feet of pine board without shattering the AR15 of the day would come apart when it hit a body leaving the tell tale signs as seen in the Kennedy xray. when I was a young soldier I tripped and accedently fired my Ar15. the guy 5 yards away thought he heard a noise but was not sure if I fired my weapon. So much for all that noise.

      • Dave says:

        Sounds like you got your gun safety training from Dick Cheney. Thanks for clearing up the fact that all the ear witnesses were wrong could not have possibly heard the gun shot near the limo because the guy 15 feet from you could barely hear it.

      • Greg says:

        You’d have to have listened to a lot of rock and roll not to hear the distinctive report of a 5.56 round.
        I’ve fired many rounds of 5.56 and it is by no means a quiet cartridge.

        Also I think you may have meant 25 inches of penetration rather than 25 feet. Though the 6.5 may penetrate further than 25 inches if the bullet doesn’t break up.

        The Nam era 55 gr 5.56 bullet tumbled wildly in the body of a victim, this resulted in wounds as devastating as those of the 7.62 Nato ball cartridge.
        The 6.5 Carcano might normally make a fairly clean wound but not when the known defective Winchester manufacture FMJ bullet was used.
        The Winchester bullets often broke up in a wound leaving two or more wildly tumbling fragments each as devastating if not more so as a single 5.56 bullet.

  12. Todd Ziegler says:

    Not sure who says or thinks that the Hickey assertion has been debunked…Far from it. A lucrative cottage industry has obviously survived for almost 50 years now solely because nothing has been debunked….except that the Warren report is crap…..of this and possibly…only this …we can all agree upon. Oh yeah…..and the fact that you can’t trust Govt.!…..and people are actually convinced that a good idea is for our govt. to administer health care…….what a bunch of lemmings . I found the reelz production to be mesmerizing as I nodded in agreement throughout the entirety , and then was left dumbfounded at the conclusion. It’s as feasible as anything else…..but….who knows?

  13. Matt says:

    I’d like this documentary to be thoroughly debunked: primarily the ballistics.

    I keep reading his week that the theory was debunked years ago… but nobody seems to go into any detail about the ballistics information (different types of bullets etc).

    I’d love to see a cool, calm, factual, thorough debunking.

  14. Bonnie Vaughan says:

    So you think that a car full of Secret Service agents would not know the guy next to them discharged an AR15? Not only would they know – One or more of them would have reached for their ears. Ever been next to that gun when it discharged?

    You think they would remain silent all these years? That one or more of them would not have spoken out? You think Mrs. Kennedy would have wanted any of them close to her post assassination?

    We look at the Kennedy assassination in isolation. 1968 both Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King were assassinated. A.D. King brother of Martin Luther King, who was an accomplished swimmer found dead in his swimming pool 1969. 4 people who were closely connected politically and philosophically. How many successful assassinations since then? None.

    FACT: During Watergate Richard Nixon is heard on White House recordings fearing the opening of that “Bay of Pigs thing” which later was revealed that was his name for the Kennedy Assassination. This is not made up movie lore – this is fact.

    Why would Richard Nixon embroiled in Watergate fear an investigation into Kennedy if a Secret Service agent had shot him? As President he would have been “read” in and known. http://watergate.info/1972/06/23/the-smoking-gun-tape.html

  15. josephina says:

    I saw the documentary. It seemed persuasive although I do see the point that how could nobody have seen him shoot it. For those who don’t believe in the George Hickey theory, was the headshot a different type of bullet from Oswald’s? Where was it shot from?

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Even Howard Donahue says that the head shot was a different than the FMJ MC headshot.

      Although he postutates it was the frangible round of the AR-15, IIRC.

      Orlando Martin’s book Analysis of a Shooting says that the fatal headshot was a frangible round from the right front and that blowout on the right side above and forward the president’s ear is ‘blowback’ from such a bullet.

      That’s where there are particles on the right, lateral x-ray of JFK’s head.

  16. Jeff Ball says:

    SMOKING GUN = DISINFORMATION

  17. gil blackwood says:

    Strange how dozens of bystanders ,including police officers ran up the grassy knoll. They all knew where at least one of the shots came from. They heard the shot and saw the smoke. Yet not one bystander ever testified a shot came from the secret service car. The zapruder film supports a grassy knoll shot and so does the testimony and reactions of witnesses,including police officers. I guess the excellent scope on the grassy knoll shooters rifle might have seen Hicks fire his rifle. Too bad his scope was zeroed in on JFK’s skull.

    • Curious says:

      Yea, that makes sense run towards the shooter for safety….duh

      • Avenger says:

        Oh yeah sure that’s exactly what they were doing…running towards the gunman for “safety”!!! *sarcasm*

        From what I’ve read the spectators & police were all running up the grassy knoll to catch the assassin. For some reason they were under the impression the fatal shot came from that vicinity…
        And what about that guy (I can’t recall his name) who came out in the 1990s I think claiming that he was in the area of the grassy knoll & a bullet whipped past him & he was taking photos or a video at the time & the men who were behind him in the carpark(?) when questioned were in police uniform or claimed to be SS (I think?).

  18. John says:

    Just another “fact” site run by an opinionated biased blowhard. You read the post and it’s not balanced and fair, the guy is just trying to take down a view no doubt to promote his own book.

  19. Robert Fulwood says:

    I have like so many have been interested in the assassination of JFK . I never accepted Oswald as having done it alone, but no one had given me a plausible explanation of another shooter. The Donahue theory did it for me as it is the only thing that makes sense.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      Howard Donahue does little to make sense of the SBT. He only says it is possible even though improbable IIRC. The crux of Donahues theory is that it was an accidental firing by a SSA.

      However, Donahue relies on the HSCA Forensci Pathology Panel who changed the autopsy conclusion by claiming the rear-entrance head shot was at the cowlick and not four inches below as concluded by the autopsy surgeons.

      Such a disparity is too unbelievable to base another theory, but it was apparently done (by the HSCA) to eliminate the inconsistent upward trajectory of the fatal headshot in the WC’s version.

  20. John says:

    Finally a very clear and factual approach to solving the mystery. I noticed the ones that try to discredit Howard Donahue’s ballistic expertise together with the thorough analysis provided by the well respected famous no nonsense Colin McLaren are the ones avoiding the major issues this evidence only focused investigation brings to light.

    Furthermore this website is questionable itself. The silly manner in which they introduce this important factual documentary calls to question any reasonable attempt at focusing on fact from this site, however highlights it’s own emotion as an excuse for hiding the very real conclusions from this excellent investigative work.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      The SSA did it theory is inconsistent with the Bronson film which shows that there was no unobstructed view to JFK’s head.

  21. john65 says:

    To the dis-believers of the Donahue/McLaren theory;it makes sense due to the fact that if the angle of trajecory &the entry of the wound is corect it clear that the shot didnot come from above,&COULD HAVE GONE UN-NOTICED DUE TO UTTER KAOS IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT,TESTIMONIES WERE CHANGED BY AGENTS,EVEN THOSE WHO STATED THEY SAW HIM WITH THE RIFFLE&thought he returned fire,Oswald was the attempted assassin,Hickey was an accidental shooter trying to protect the president from an un-stable position due to the motion of the car

  22. Steve says:

    What are the chances that Lee Harvey Oswald shoots the President, which more than likely is true, and George Hickey has a direct shot to the Presidents Head by mistake within a five second period. Maybe a trillion to one!

    • Jean says:

      Exactly what I’ve been thinking ever since I saw the documentary! What are the ODDS? And what a “convenient” theory, which of course puts to bed any CIA/mafia,etc. conspiracy theories about the assassination, and how convenient that Hickey is not alive to defend himself either. And just because some of what is presented in the film is “scientific”, the fact that there were NO WITNESSES to Hickey’s shooting of JFK is a major problem for the theory. Sorry, there is NO EVIDENCE there!

  23. blackdog says:

    the person who wrote this article wants us all to continue to be sheeple. it was Johnson’s agent that killed JFK

    • desmond knox says:

      I agree that JBJ and others were behind it. Also the lastes books blow away the material aired. Its a shame the American people can’t wake up and see that the USA was subjected to a coup de ta and you have both voted and paid taxes since to those that now control the country. Case solved.
      Ask yourself this question why was Bush, Nixon and Ford all in Dallas that day and what connection to LBJ ! ( who ducked down as they entered the road) 4 el presidents all awaiting for coup. Just to end that this was the third attempt on Kennedy that month and all used the same modus operandi. Time to research afresh citizens.

  24. Avenger says:

    Of course this theory is possible. Hell anything is “possible” but I refuse to believe that it was an “accident” that killed JFK. That’s like saying it was an “accident” that the planes flew into the WTC on 9/11/01.
    What this “theory” proves IMO is that there WAS more than 1 shooter that day in Dealey Plaza. That head shot was caused by an assassin’s bullet who aimed at Kennedy’s head with the intent to finish him off. Oswald was the convenient fall guy who they would pin it on–whether he really was the shooter in the TSBD or someone else was in there to plant the evidence that the bullets heralded from there. Either way he was the “lone nut” they would use as a scapegoat.

  25. Companyman2001 says:

    As to the trajectory espoused in the Reelz show….there were 2 simultaneous shots to JFK’s head, and radiologist Randy Robertson did that credible work nearly 15 years ago. One from the knoll, the other from the roof of the Dallas County Records Building. God only knows who fired from the knoll, but its documented that DPD Detective Harry Weatherford was stationed on the Records Building roof that day, and 30 years later when the roof was being re-tarred, a near pristine shell casing was found under the crown of the old tar roof. One side of the casing looked like it had weathered decades of the elements, but the side facing inward was still shiny. That casing bore the stamp: “TCAAP”….Twin Cities Army Ammunitions Plant. Twin Cities; Mpls.-St.Paul, Mn. Funny place to find a shell casing…………

  26. john65 says:

    In response to comments referring to 9/11,& odds of a trillion to 1,911 was no accident,&no matter what the odds are it only takes 1 to cause an accident,or incident,we simply have to deternine what makes sense&try to be sensable in the process if we are to find the answer as men of good concious should,for we have waited 5o years to find out what happened to our king,there still remain those who donot want us to know,but rather we stay devided&confused,instead to honor him we must stay steadfast&on target&united by the integrity he left us to keep for us all,less we fall victom to the aimless confusion they have set upon us for decades,we will continue to be blined by the many lights they cast to fool us.

  27. Bart Gibbons says:

    While the show did bring some information that was new to me, and did seem sincerely researched, I nevertheless do not agree with its conclusion, for three reasons:
    1) There’s strong evidence Oswald was on the 2nd floor at the time
    2) Compelling evidence leads me to believe there were at least two shooters from the Grassy knoll
    3) The “turkey shoot” theory is quite plausible; and there is evidence a shooter was at the Dal-Tex building.

  28. Jean says:

    Then there must have been 2 billion or trillion to one accidents that day, according to the show: that Oswald could have actually hit the president at all, and that the poor secret service agent, oops, accidentally, when falling backward shot the president square in the back of the head, killing him! A bit too much to believe IMO. Come on!

  29. Robert Fulwood says:

    Putting a high powered rifle in the hands of an unskilled individual in a tense and stressful encounter is just an accident waiting to happen.

  30. john65 says:

    We must realize as someone said earlier anything is possible&when an accident occurs no-one knows what the out come will be,or how precise the damage may end up,which is why they call them accidents,&as far as ozwald being on the 2nd floor,no-one actualy saw him make the shot,evidence shows someone fired from the6th floor&seems2be from where the president was hit first,if the head-shot came from that location right to left,the exit wound damage would have been on the left,&even with the kind of ammo used by the TSBD6th floor rifle,Jackie probably would have been killed also,or at least hit bein rite beside him,so its very possible the kill shot was just a fatal mistake that happens everyday whether you want to believe it or not,unfortunately it jus happened to be the President&if the entrance&trajectury of the wound is accurate,its compelling that it likely occurred that way.

  31. Robert Fulwood says:

    Like Mr Zapruder was doing they would be watching the president or cringing in fear after the first two shots. No surprise to me no one saw it. My last comment I am satisfied it all adds up and explains everything.

  32. Joe says:

    Okay, I’m not a JFK conspiracy theorist, but watched this documentary anyway. Then I downloaded the Zapruder film from YouTube and focused on images 312 and 313. If you go back and forth between the two shots, you can see what changes in JFKs posture. In 313, his head moves roughly towards Zapruder, while his body also seems to move in the same direction. This implies the shooter was perhaps in the direction of where they say Hickey was. In 314, his head moves away, presumably from whiplash. Not saying I agree with this documentary or know all the theories, but the Zapruder film kind of supports someone shooting from the direction of the Secret Service car.

  33. gor says:

    considering the sheer volume of counter-theories this one is interesting because it subtly restores the official warren version of events, by addition of an accident at the worst possible moment.

    • Luanne Mazzara says:

      It was a frontal shot.his head went back and to the left ss seen in zapruder film.no eay oswald acted alone that why ruby killed him cause he would have talked.that head wound was from a destructive damaging bullet that explodes.not from oswalds toy gun.

  34. Paul Kraus says:

    Just watched a channel 5 documentary here in the UK which promotes the theory that Hickey accidentally shot JFK which I presume is the same documentary you are discussing.

    Seemed very feasible to me except, on reflection, one thing occured to me.

    Why would the secret service ammunition be a ‘frangible’ bullet rather than the full metal jacket type. Surely their weapons would be loaded to respond to possible assasins and that would be FMJ unless, of course, it was planned and the frangible ammo was their to ensure a devastating shot to the head.

    • GU1DO says:

      Seems to me a bullet guaranteed to kill someone is the right kind to be using if you are planning a defence against an assassin, no? Rather than one that passes through the shooter without making him stop shooting?

  35. john65 says:

    I feel that the type of ammo used by the SS was not not meant to harm JFK,but instead to protect him from any threat that may occur to ensure the maximum effect of putting the enemy down to make sure he stays down,cause you do not want to survive to try again,I do believe as tragic as the incident was,Hickey&the rest of the team were there to guard JFK with there lives,but due to the panic that occurred after the first two shots,the driver either accelerated,or hit brakes causing Hickey to lose his balance&fire unintentionally,& if part of the team had not stayed out partying the night before,a more experienced agent would have been in his place making the team more prepared&ready for the seriousness of their mission,as it probably played a role in the grand scheme of getting the job done that dark day in the life of the President&our history,a very sad day for us all.

  36. Carlos Danger says:

    I have a 6.5mm Carcano and am quite familiar with the round. The bullet has a tough, thick cupronickle jacket with a relatively thin lead core and a high sectional density. At the medium velocity of the Carcano, it is a model for penetration, and the “magic bullet” that was fired by Oswald is not magic at all.

    Rather, it is the head wounds and the evidence of complete bullet fragmentation that indicates something very different than a 6.5mm Carcano bullet fired from the 6th floor hit JFK’s skull. The 30+ small metal fragments dispersed throughout his brain and against the inside of the skull did not come off a 6.5mm Caracano because it simply would not have exploded and fragmented upon entry into the back of JFK’s skull. But, a .223 sure might.

    • Krog says:

      Since the Carcano does not eject the shell unless you cock it for the next shot, I find it odd if Oswald’s 3rd shot killed JFK then why he would cock it again and eject the 3rd shell that was found in his snipers nest. Supports the idea that the 3rd shell was used to maintain the barrel and did not hold a bullet. If you were firing the Carcano rapidly would you have ejected the shell after the kill shot? Is it possible that it was just part of the rhythm and didn’t realize he was done until after he cocked it and ejected the last shell?

    • Greg says:

      I have one of the cupro nickel jacketed bullet 6.5 Carcano cartridges in my collection.
      I’d agree that one of those bullets would be unlikely to break up, but Oswald used Winchester contract 6.5 Cacano ammo made for countries that had large numbers of captured Italian rifles and were in need of ammunition.
      Greece for example had the 1903 Mannlicher rifle that could fire either the Mannlicher Schoenauer cartridge or the Carcano cartridge interchangeably. The Germans had stolen or destroyed all the Greek ammunition manufacturing machinery.
      Other countries also had large numbers of captured Italian rifles post WW2.

      The Winchester jackets were not properly annealed and the crimping operation left a weakened ring in the jacket, maling bullet break up fairly common, especially at close range.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      I wholeheartedly agree. Excellent.

      (Another observation made by Orlando Martin, decorated drill instructor and author of Analsysis of a Shooting, is that you can’t have CE399 come out unscathed after smashing 10 cm of rib bone then very hard radial wrist bone, but disintegrate and fragment which it hits skull bone).

  37. GU1DO says:

    I watched this doc in the UK too and I was very impressed. I think the two things that I’m much clearer about now than I was before are that a) Kennedy was shot by more than one weapon and b) The Secret Service did a huge amount of covering up afterwards.

    I don’t think the Hickey accident theory is proven beyond any doubt though. The lack of reaction from the other people in the car seems odd – obliviousness to a presumably very loud rifle shot a couple of feet away seems unlikely even given the confusion of the situation. For the shot to have come from Hickey, whether by accident or on purpose, everyone in the car would have to have been in on it and the subsequent cover up, and then we are in tinfoil hat territory…

  38. Brian says:

    I would have liked to have seen a ballistic trajectory from the SS agent’s gun the president’s head. It looks like the bullet would have to go through the follow cars windshield.But there is no damage to the windshield.

  39. Jon says:

    I doubt this theory is true. It leaves so many other questions unanswered in my view that prove there was more than one assassin, a conspiracy to assassinate JFK, e.g. Tague was also hit by a shot on that day; Cheramie had foreknowledge of the assassination, the windshield of JFK’s car had a bullet hole in it, etc. imo this theory is highly selective in proving that it was an accident. I don’t buy it plain and simple. Will we ever know the who, why, where, when, how, what, which, etc. of 11/22/63 I don’t think so. It will forever remain a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma…

  40. Fred Balicki says:

    A couple of points made in the book, A coverup in the case of Kennedy friends is possible because book hints that Bobby K. did not want death attributed to a quirk of fate. Also if bullet had been traced further than SS agent Hickey and come from behind him he would have been struck before President since according to SS testimony he was standing up at the time of fatal shot.

  41. Robbie says:

    I believe the head wound to Kennedys’ head was more likely to have been attributed to a high velocity 5.56 Armalite bullet than the heavier full metal jacket 6.5mm Carcano round for the following reason:-
    The early Armalite AR15 bullet was mismatched to the 1:14″ rifle twist making it notoriously unstable in flight.If a soft tip round was being used the terminal ballistic effect combined with equilibrium yaw fired from only 50 feet would easily produce the explosive damage to Kennedys head as seen. Colt Armalite realised this and immediately changed the barrel twist to 1:12 to give the bullet more stability. Todays AR15/M16s are likely to have a 1:7/9″ twist. Definitely a second shooter!

  42. Ian Smith says:

    I’ve been interested in the assassination of JFK for thirty years. I’ve bought and read countless JFK books, all pointing to various factions, organisations and Government departments with each seeming to gain in size, involvement and complicity.

    The HSCA didn’t appear to help at all, Prof. Blakey appears to favour Mafia involvement, no matter what, whilst ‘last minute’ acoustic evidence did nothing to change the history books: LHO was the lone gunman.

    After buying Mortal Error in the early 90s, I wasn’t overly convinced but the ‘updated’ TV program and visuals do make sense……it’s simple enough to make sense.
    Many argue that passengers in the follow up car would have heard the shot and talked…..yet they support theories involving countless agencies, suspects, criminals etc who have also kept their mouth’s shut. That doesn’t make sense.

    I’ve always thought that only two shots were fired from the TSBD as one of the shells found was dented in such a way that it proved, to me, that no bullet was fired from that particular shell on that day. If Oswald only shot two bullets, he would have been able to reload and shoot in the given time. If he wasn’t such a good shot, as argued, that could explain why his first shot missed. He would have also had more time to aim for his second shot which struck JFK and JC.

    If agent Hickey, who was not normally in that position in the SS car and had never been trained to use the AR15, did slip / pull the trigger accidently, could that also explain the acoustic / witness evidence that a shot came from the ‘grassy knoll’ area? Wasn’t the SS car around that area at the time?

    I do believe this is the most sound theory to date. Did Oswald fire from the window? I think so. Was he helped? Possibly, but not to the extent that the CIA / FBI / Mafia / Cubans / Anti-Cubans / Communists etc etc etc were in on it too.

    Unfortunately, there has been far too much disinformation. A theory proposed 40 years ago gains credence over the years and becomes ‘fact’. How many witnesses have changed their statements? Even Marina has made so many U turns about what she believes about Lee’s innocence / guilt. It just gets too complicated and too big to cover up for so long.
    I think this is the closest we’ll get to what really happened that day.
    Just my humble opinion, of course.

  43. Bill says:

    Here’s why JFK: The Smoking Gun documentary has it right.
    The second and third shots fired almost simultaneously only about a half second apart, and there’s no way Oswald could fire 2 shots that fast with a bolt-action rifle. The full metal jacket bullets that Oswald used aren’t designed to explode on impact – how could Oswald’s second shot go straight through two bodies like a pencil, yet his third bullet causes a massive explosion inside Kennedy’s skull? Because the third bullet was a frangible bullet from a different gun that was designed to explode upon impact. These were two different bullets from two different guns. Watch the Zapruder film and listen to those second and third shots – the third shot is much louder than the second one, which is more proof two different guns were in play. The bullet entry wound and skull damage caused by the third bullet matches up exactly with Hickie’s position and not Oswald’s. Also, the entry wound in back of Kennedy’s skull was smaller than the 6.5 millimeter bullet that Oswald used. Ten different eyewitnesses smelled gunsmoke immediately after the third shot, which could only come from a gun fired at street level. Oswald was six floors up above the ground, and that day the wind was blowing toward him and away from the cars.
    If the Secret Service wasn’t guilty, then why was there such a coverup at the hospital? As the documentary explains, the chief medical examiner at Bethesda Naval Hospital came back from a meeting at the White House, and told the X-ray technician to tape fragments from a full metal jacket bullet to Kennedy’s skull and photograph it. Why? Because the Secret Service knew their own AR-15 assault rifle had killed Kennedy and had to cover it up. Several eyewitnesses swore they saw the AR-15 assault rifle in the hands of Secret Service agent Hickie at the time of the second and third shots, but the Warren Commission didn’t follow up with further questions – wonder why? The Dallas police detective, a guy named Decker, questioned dozens of eyewitnesses and was in the lead car, yet he was never asked to testify to the Warren Commission. Nor was the X-ray technician at the hospital ever asked to testify, even though he told Arlen Specter of the Warren Commission what happened to him before the Warren Commission ever met. And 30 years later, why did the Secret Service destroy all documents relating to the assassination just one week before the Assassination Records Review Board was scheduled to meet? Finally, why did Hickie never respond to requests from author Meninger when Meninger wrote to him explaining that he was writing a book on the ballistic evidence Donahue came up with? And then after the book came out why did he wait years to file a lawsuit? You’d think someone who had nothing to hide would want to defend himself right away.

  44. tktim says:

    This site says JFK TSG was discredited and debunked. Who discredited what? Who debunked what? They provides no facts to support their claims. They do prove you can not call someone a murder without being sued and you can win that lawsuit. Even known murders have won slander cases. Murder Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion. That does not mean he never murdered anyone. Why didn’t they call him a murder and bring him to trial? It’s not easy that’s why.

  45. Krog says:

    I like how this article says JFK Smoking gun is preposterous but doesn’t give a reason why it’s preposterous. It just says it’s wrong. And then asks you to donate money to get the truth out.

  46. Simon says:

    Has been debunked for the following reasons.
    1) The Bronson film shows Hickey seated and unarmed after the head shot. Used to be able to be viewed at the depository museum.
    2) The entry wound was not smaller than the bullet Oswald used. This misconception is due to the difference in the scalp entry point and the skull entry point. The skin around scalp entry contracts after the bullet entry due to its elasticity. The bullet could easily have been Oswald’s (or anyone else ‘s of course).
    3) The impact tests failed to take into account the effect of underlying bone structure. The type of bullet used by Oswald has been shown to disintegrate in exactly the same way if it hits major skull structure.

    • James says:

      Thanks. The ONLY element in the “Mortal Error” theory that had any weight from my PoV was the diameter of the bullet – everything else was speculation. If the diameter of the bullet was smaller than the one Oswald used, then there WAS a second shooter, no doubt (accidental or intentional)
      If indeed what you are saying about the entry diameter on the scalp / skull and effect it had upon exit is correct, then it puts this theory to rest.

    • Andrew says:

      1) where can we see the Bronson film besides having to travel to Dallas?
      2) this is not enough to discount the Hickey theory;
      3) How about providing some references for your statements, Simon? Tests carried out by Dr. Lattimer, Olivier, and others giving contradictory results.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      On your point 3: Why did CE399 not distintegrate or break apart after smashing through 10 cm of rib bone and going through a wrist (hard radial bone)?

      If the WCC FMJ hit JFK’s head, I would think it would have deformed and exited out the left front side of his head.

      (See Orlando’s Martin Analysis of a Shooting).

  47. Jeff Harker says:

    The “Smoking Gun” theory is the only theory that deserves more contempt than the Warren Commission’s report. Now we’re supposed to believe that Hickey’s gun just “happened” to be accidentally discharged at the precise time that it just accidentally “happened” to be pointing in the precise direction of the intended target of Oswald! From a professional obviously highly skilled at handling a gun! So, the bullet didn’t miss the entire Kennedy vehicle? Or it didn’t accidentally hit the driver? Or it didn’t accidentally hit Mrs. Connally or one of the other passengers? Or it didn’t accidentally hit something else? Or a bystander? Or it didn’t accidentally fire off into the distance? But instead it just “happened” to hit the assassin’s exact target right dead center where the assassin intended to shoot?!!! Are you kidding me? And all this while the Zapruder film continues to clearly show a shot from the right front? How can we ever hope for the truth to be told to the public if a “top investigator” can deceive himself and others into believing this kind of thing? How grievous for those of us who want the truth to be told to the public. It really grieves me.

    • Robert Morgan says:

      It is clear that many people who have difficulty with the “JFK – The Smoking Gun” documentary haven’t even watched it?!?!?

      The documentary clearly explains that George Hickey was a Secret Service Agent for only 4 months when this assassination took place. As a rookie, his job was to prepare and drive the vehicles. He was subbing for another agent that day. Hickey was not trained on the AR-15 – it was a new addition at the time. The use of the AR-15 was discontinued after the assassination.

  48. john65 says:

    Okay,as far as debunking goes,&possibility that the kill shot came from the 6th floor,your leaving out one key fact,entrance of the shell could not have come from the 6th floor,the 3rd shot reguardless of the of the size comparison of the ammo of the 2 rifles does not change the affect due to direction of travel of the shot,if it was from the 6th floor,not only would no-one have smelled gun-smoke,the entrance wound have been on the right side&the exit would be on the left,also Jackie probably may have been hit as well,&let us ponder why did SS break the law by threatening the doctor&leaving Dallas without an autopsy,then lie when asked if they took notes during the autopsy,&about Hickey having the A-R-15 at the time of the attack,for why have it&not use it at a time like that,it should have been the time to act,&being SS,why would you not act,&look at the fact;you got the SS,CIA,NSA,FBI,local Police,&you should be questioning everybody you can,but you do not,my question is why not,I think its clear the SS did not want to admit their mortal mistake,for it would seem to have happened that way,sad but true if it did,&it explains allot of the strange&tragic events that have followed over the years since that terrible event&our great loss of our fallen king,the victim of conspiracy&friendly fire.

    • Brett7 says:

      John, I’m with you. I have seen just about every JFK documentary on his assassination and been suck into many of them. First theory that has put so many of the facts together.1. Oswald only person working at at book depository that left work early – fact 2. Shot policeman Tibbets – fact 3. The single bullet came from Oswalds gun- fact. 4. Oswald was crazy liar and anything that came out of his mouth was impossible to believe -fact. 5. The third shot came from a gun different than Oswalds as proven by the angle , smell of gunpowder at ground level, and a explosive round used – facts. After this point it gets sketchy but what explains the behavior of SS agents at the autopsy better than this one. Not perfect but we may never know the whole truth.

  49. jcg says:

    I thought the documentary was the first deviation from the single-gunman theory that held any water. I think a lot of us want to believe it, because it fits so nicely for people who don’t buy the conspiracy theories. Because we want to believe it, we tend to make justifications in our heads, so I am trying to approach the theory subjectively.

    So all I will say is that after watching the film, I think the theory is plausible, mostly because of the gunpowder smell, frangible vs. full metal jacket bullet leaving fragments in the skull, and also, the numerous witnesses hearing “pop…pop-pop”. I have yet to hear a plausible explanation for the rapid-succession final two shots, but this theory could provide the answer.

    However, I think the documentarians (I haven’t read Mortal Error) could have made a much stronger case if they:

    * Explained why, or if, the Secret Service would load machine guns with frangible bullets. We’re left to assume that was standard operating procedure.
    * Faced the Bronson film and the specifics of the Hickey lawsuits head-on.
    * Avoided the more far-fetched aspects, such as the allegations that bullet fragments were intentionally added to x-ray photos as part of a Secret Service coverup.

    Some good investigative work was done, but I think some more answers are needed (if ever possible) for the “friendly-fire” theory to earn wider acceptance.

  50. gbar says:

    I was 15 in1963 and I ve read a lot of material on the assassination and Mortal Error is well researched ..documented and makes the most sense…but one needs to READ the book based on work done by a ballistics expert (Donahue) hired by the Warren Comm…..it answers all the questions e g the magic bullettheory etc…save one…was Oswald involved in a conspiracy…and this book makes the answer to that q …probably not. Best book on the subject.

  51. Andrew says:

    Let’s take another look at this theory. First off, balastically Donahue is an expert an the book lays out the trajectories. Hickey’s gun was shooting .223 Rem hollow points which would fragment in the skull are consistent with the damage done, unlike LMO’s full metal jacket ammo. After the first two shots from the 6th floor their was pandemonium, screaming, and confusion. Hickey’s gun was fitted with a flash suppressor and possibly a silencer. Witnesses in the car who would have heard and/or seen Hickey take the shot would have approached by the FBI/SS and told that this was an accident, that Kennedy would have died anyway, and we can not let this information go public since it will greatly embarrass the country in reduce our credibility in the world. However, it wasn’t an accident. It was intentional. The Secret Service conveniently had no riders on the back of the President’s limo. After the shots from the TBD, the limo slowed to a crawl, allowing Hickey to take the shot from 25 feet of less. This is a quote from Winston Lawson, Secret Service agent testimony to the Warren Commission, “As the lead car was passing under this bridge I heard the first loud, sharp report and in more rapid succession two more sounds like gunfire. I could see persons to the left of the motorcade vehicles running away. I noticed Agent Hickey standing up in the follow-up car with the automatic weapon and first thought he had fired at someone.”

  52. Ian says:

    The Donahue / Menninger theory would, if true, explain the exploding head shot and the extraordinary behaviour of the secret service men after the assassination. But is it true? The only photographic evidence that is always quoted to disprove the theory is the film by Bronson. However, this was taken at a very long distance and I defy anyone to see what is really going on in the follow-up car.

    Does anyone have any clearer photographic evidence to disprove (or indeed prove) the theory that Hickey accidentally shot the President?

    • Gerry Simone says:

      There were no witnesses that saw anything remotely suggesting that a shot came from the follow-up SS car.

      If Bonar Menninger’s book (and Donahue’s theory) really passed muster, why would they settle out of court with Hickey when he sued them?

  53. Bill Lange says:

    Take a few minutes to analyze the high-resolution version of the Zapruder film, specifically frames 311 through 314. Notice Mrs. Kennedy’s head was almost directly in front of JFK’s face when the fatal bullet struck him. If the bullet was fired from the depository it should have killed her too! The fact that the film shows parts of his skull exploding to the right, and not hitting her, lends credence to the theory that the fatal bullet came over the rear of their limo on a horizontal trajectory.

    • Gerry Simone says:

      The fatal headshot was a tangential one stricking JFK in the right temple area (or a little back) and exiting in the right rear portion of his head.

      It was not fired further back of the picket fence, not closer to the corner, as that angle would’ve caused an exit wound to the left rear of JFK’s head (and possibly strike Mrs. Kennedy).

  54. Paul says:

    Just finished “Mortal Error” the book published in 1992 which was what this documentary and book were based on. It all adds up for numerous reasons….
    1)The entry wound in the rear of JFK’s head is smaller than Oswalds Carcano is possible of making=Oswald did not fire the kill shot. More likely he only got off 2 shots…3rd casing found in Oswald’s nest was most likely chamber plug due to it’s damage. It never would have been able to fire in that condition
    2) The AR-15 with .223 ammo carried by Hickey fits perfectly fits with the kind of wound jfk sustained to his back head. Also consistent with the ‘exploding” effect of .223 ammo. NOTE: If kill shot had come from Oswald JFK’s face would have shown exit wound….nothing there. Look at autopsy photos…face and forehead intact. No entry or exit wounds…which leads to
    3) THERE WAS NO SHOT FIRED FROM THE FRONT! READ AS NO SHOT FROM GRASSY KNOLL….THERE IS NO FORENSIC EVIDENCE, NADA, THAT THIS HAPPENED!!! Also, what we do have is something like 22 witnesses reporting smelling GUNSMOKE around JFK’s limo.Impossible if all the shots came from Oswald or from Higher up or the Grassy Knoll…ALSO, something like 11 witnesses reported seeing Hickey with the AR-15 and a few reported that they thought the Secret Service had shot back…We also have 2nd & 3rd shots coming within a second of each other..Impossible for Oswald with bot action. ALSO!! AGENT KELERMAN TESTIFIED TO WARREN COMMISSION HICKEY HAD THE AR-15 IN HIS POSSESSION AT TIME OF SHOOTING AND WAS READY TO GO…CONTRADICTS HICKEYS TESTIMONY THAT IS WAS NOT “READY TO GO”!!!

    4) Established the Secret Service engaged in cover up once they arrived at Parkland..they haul ass out of town with body on their authority…WHY? Interesting note here as well, Warren Commission witness reported they saw a Secret Service Agent knock unconscious an FBI Agent at Parkland Hospital. Why? What the hell was that all about? Which leads to…
    5) Secret Service Agents knew that Hickey had ACCIDENTLY shot JFK and covered it up on orders from the top law enforcement person in the land: Bobby Kennedy(SS Agent Clint Hill, or Kellerman called Bobby upon arrival at Parkland)
    6) Why? Think about it….JFK was dead. It now became an issue of JFK’s legacy. I think they all believed it was better for the country to not announce Kennedy was ultimately killed by his own bodyguards in an ACCIDENT. They knew someone had shot at Kennedy, so pin it all on that shooter…
    7) Also believe that the Secret Service was desperate to hide the “Accident” due to the fact that a number of the agents had been out till 5am that morning drinking(well established fact and discussed by Earl Warren and Agent Kellerman during hearing interviews) heavily. Think about the @!$%# storm that would have ensued had that come up if the country also knew that they had also accidently killed jfk.

    So….I think Occam’s Razor works best here….”that among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected.”

    Also, I think it is very sad. Poor Agent Hickey, he was not one of the Agents who had been out drinking the night before. He was a rookie last minute replacement for one of those who had. The man attempted to do his job and an unfortunate set of circumstances led to JFK’s death. This poor poor man….

  55. Regina says:

    I have tried to watch everything possible about JFK’s life, career & most importantly his assassination. I have always tried to keep an open mind to theories, etc. and just tried to learn as many facts surrounding that day, that drive, those minutes… Of all that I have have learned, along with facts presented, testimonies given by experts & eyewitnesses. It seems to me the theory presented, of the second shooter…an accidental shooter, Secret Servuce Agent George Hickey

  56. jcg says:

    Where is the evidence that the .223 hollow-point ammo was in Hickey’s AR-15? Is it mentioned in the book? I tend to believe the theory but for it to really have credence I’d want to see testimony or records from other SS agents on the presidential detail that this was the type of ammo they used, and why. My assumption is that it would be for several reasons, not least of which is to avoid shooting innocent bystanders, but I want to know where this is documented.

  57. Jimmy Bees says:

    Watch the “Inside the Target Car” documentary,, which was on youtube last time I looked, as well as Nova’s “Cold Case JFK.” If you still think there wasn’t overwhelming forensic evidence against LHO and nobody else, I suggest taking some courses in forensics before posting statements you may regret if and when you do learn about such things.

    • Robert Morgan says:

      Thanks Jimmy Bees for the recommendations on some related documentaries. This stuff is interesting.

      Were you trained by the Secret Service to make threatening remarks like this one: “…I suggest taking some courses in forensics before posting statements you may regret if and when you do learn about such things….”

    • Gerry Simone says:

      They used a ballistic gelatin block that’s about 2 feet long to simulate tumbling for CE399 which was unrealistic as JFK’s neck was not as thick lol.

      (The WC demonstrated that the path of a FMJ WCC round through a neck that simulated Kennedy’s neck exited in a straight and stable path. It’s right in Chapter 3 of the WCR.).

      Also, that pinewood test would be more scientific if Kennedy was built like Pinnocchio. For one thing, it doesn’t explain why CE399 is virtually pristine after smashing through 10cm of rib bone plus hard radial wrist bone, yet fragment and disintegrate (particle cloud in right lateral x-ray) when it strikes skull bone.

      Dr Joseph Dolce, Chief Medical Consultant at Edgewood Arsenal, who was NOT examined by the WC (his views were different), believed CE 399 should have deformed, EVEN AT LOWER VELOCIY.

  58. Andrew says:

    Discussion of test shots on skulls using the Carcano FMJ bullets:

    http://www.mtgriffith.com/web_documents/forensic.htm

    • Jimmy Bees says:

      Did you watch the documentaries I suggested? In the Cold Case one, they point out that there is a major difference between FMJs in general and the one used by LHO with his M-C rifle, and on November 22, 1963 even the FBI did not have that kind of FMJ in its library. Why is there so much resistance to watching people actually try to replicate the wounds using state-of-the-art techniques? Who among the major conspiracy theorists has done actual studies using the M-C and the same FMJ with the latest forensic technology?

      • Andrew says:

        Yes Jimmy, I watched Nova’s “Cold Case”. This documentary primarily deals with the “magic bullet” theory. Their 3D laser scanner was used to look at the trajectories of the head shot. They got info on the angles from the Grassy Knoll. Then they discuss whether the wound is an exit of entrance wound. Nova references back to studies at the Biophysics Laboratory skulls with gelatin experiments. The actually entry point is controversial. No mention is made of whether the fragmentation observed was characteristic of a FMJ Carcano shell or a frangible .223 Rem shell. Therefore, “Cold Case” supports Donahue’s contention that the head shot came from the rear but does not deal with the fragmentation issue.

        Maybe you should take a course in basic civilized polite conversation. If you are so educated and have something to add to this conversation, I suggest you do it instead of acting like an arrogant obnoxious know-it-all.

  59. Robbie says:

    If there is any more mileage to be had on this forum its worth looking in more detail at the 2 different weapons and bullets in question, to explain the wounding effects on Kennedy,s body.

    Firstly, the Mannlicher-Carcano 6.5mm rifle fired by Oswald was designed as an infantry weapon firing a relatively long and heavy 162 grain, round nose,full copper jacketed bullet – very stable with good penetration, with a muzzle velocity of 2,400ft/sec. The bullet that passed through Kennedy and hit Connally is testament to that, and of course the bullet was recovered virtually intact.

    On the other hand the Colt Armalite AR15 allegedly fired by Hickey from the back up car from say 20/25ft would have been loaded with a light .223 (5.56mm) 55grain bullet with a muzzle velocity of 3,200ft/sec possibly soft tip or concealed hollow point (The FBI never admitted what sort of bullets they were carrying) Either way this bullet was unstable in flight and liable to topple on impact.The very thin copper jacket with an exposed lead tip would generally strip away and fragment the bullet. Being ‘frangible’ may not have been the sole purpose of the bullet but was effective for Police/FBI use in that this type of bullet was intended to ‘dump’ its energy in the suspect target and not over penetrate.
    This type of bullet would be favoured by hunters for shooting Deer etc.

    Which bullet is more likely to have caused Kennedy’s head wound?
    You decide!

    • Jerry McComb says:

      to start with the weapon Hickey had is not in the equation, the weapon John Files used should be the only one other than the weapon Oswald was said to have fired although GSR says he did not

  60. john65 says:

    Thanks Brett,it would seem that more of us are coming on board as we are opening our eyes to facts&possibilities never fathomed before,though one thing we may never really know,just how far the conspiracy went,did Hickey shoot intentionally or was it truly an accident as i believe it was.Its been said,Hickey was LBJ’s shooter,in my mind the entire plot to kill the JFK’was so elaborate&phycologicaly put into play,such as the wise guy used by the FBI&CIA to take out Castro&who also warned him so is to throw suspicion on the Kennedy’s for the attack on him to create a picture of an on going feud between them,then the plan also includes Oswald as a Russian sympathizer who appears as a nut case working alone,&then maybe unexpectedly Jack Ruby pops up&kills OswaLd,proven killer of a Texas cop,thus satisfies the public,justice is served,so I don’t think LBJ’would have been inclined to let Hickey take that shot with him present in the car also,&not wanting to play the accidental card because of global imbarressment,I think it was truly an accident which they feverishly tried to hide to no positive end,their intent was obvious &now that we’ve focused more on that fact,we now see clearly rite through their lies,&leave us not forget LBJ’s Clean up crew,the Warren commission.

  61. Andrew says:

    I think the possibility of head shot by a frangible type shell explains a lot. However, the scenario that Hickey took the shot is hard to fathom. More likely, the shot came from the Dal-Tex bldg. This from wikipedia about the Dal-Tex bldg:

    “Numerous witnesses to the assassination reported hearing gunfire coming from the direction of the building. In fact, the Dal-Tex building was one of the first buildings to be sealed off in the minutes following the murder.[5] Several arrests were made following the building’s lockdown;[6] there is record of a young man dressed in a black leather jacket and black gloves who was taken to the Sheriff’s Office (also located within the Dal-Tex building) but he was never charged and no records of his name exist. Another suspicious person detained in the Dal-Tex building was Jim Braden, a career-criminal with Mafia ties who had recently changed his name[7] and was thus released by authorities. Furthermore, the Dal-Tex building aligns directly with the trajectory of the bullet that hit the curb, injuring bystander James Tague.”

    • Jerry McComb says:

      someone needs to ask a question on why there were at least 6 known (hitmen) assasines in Dealy Plaza at that precise moment in time. This should at least raise the question that this was a conspiracy, would be the first thing I would think, You can look up the known culprits just type hitmen in Dealy Plaza.@ jfk murder

  62. john65 says:

    Okay Andrew,I’l agree there could have been another shooter&shot fired from that location,but is there any proof that he hit anything besides the curb&injuring a bystander.Yes there may have been other shooters,simataineous shots shots fired ect,but,one thing is certain,the SS’s behavior the night before the shootings as well as the day of was not only irresponsible,but unforgivable,given the gravity&magnitude of the citiuation,it never should have been allowed to happen&everything that transpired from t

  63. Mike James says:

    I watched the documentary, and the evidence is compelling. If it has been discredited, then please list the FACTS that discredit the trajectory of the bullet that killed the president, the fact that people on the ground smelled gun powder directly behind the SS car from which the trajectory is established,and The wind was blowing TOWARD Oswald’s perch six stories up. These things are discredited by statements of SS agents who had spent the night before partying at a strip joint and were too hungover to carry the AR-15. Nor are they discredited by Hickey, who has an obvious reason to deny all. The SS’s actions at the hospital are so obvious that they were covering up SOMETHING. Please show us HOW this is discredited. Remember, scientific forensic evidence is what we need.

  64. john65 says:

    I have to agree mike,we may never know exactly what really happened,but we know now more than ever before,so its up to us to follow the evidence as closely as possible & try to decide in our own hearts & minds just what our conclusions are,&unless some one from the past decides to confess the truth,that’s what we must do,for a half century they’ve had us caught in webs of lies & deceit,& far as i’m concerned,it’s time we make our own judgement based on the facts here before us & no one can dis-credit that,for certain facts speak for themselves,& certain other things will never add up.I feel that if SS had been on point as they should have,JFK’could have been alive & with us for a much longer period,he did not receive the proper protection & respect his office required & it’s just that simple.The world was watching while the safety of the President’ slipped right through the elite group known as the SS’s fingers,& they dropped the ball,then frantically trying to cover it up,blundering every step of the way,&so obvious,even a blind man could see.If we know nothing else at all,we know tragectory don’t lie,& the GOOD GUYS’,DON’T HIDE’,so it’s clear they were not up to the task that day,&maybe having Hickey fill in for a more qualified agent was not such a wise move either,& knowing all the long of enemies foreign & domestic,they should have waited till the job was done,partied later,& put the President first always,even if you didn’t vote for him,that’s what your sworn & paid to do,&I would rather they have admit accidental mistake than to this futile attempt to cover it up,though I know that due to the gravity of & our position in the grand scheme of the world stage would not allow for such a reality,what a tragic,travesty.IT should not have occurred for the President’s sake,his family,we the people’,&the personal pride of the SS’,what were they thinking,& were they thinking at all?’They really should have cared more about our King’&less about strippers’.

  65. Scott M says:

    I haven’t read all of the previous posts, but I’d like to make a few points as I see things. Some of these points are quite speculative, and I am merely pointing out possibilities and not making any accusations, except I do believe that LHO fired the first shot that hit the ground and the second shot, that hit JFK and Connolly’s torsos, and as such he would be guilty of murder for the accidental death that occurred during the commission of a felony.

    In no particular order:

    The smell of gunpowder at ground level reported by multiple witnesses indicates a gun was fired at ground level. Smoke might swirl around a bit in a breeze, but no way would it sink down from the 6th floor, especially on a cool day.

    Keeping a spent cartridge in the breech as a plug could explain why a third casing was found on the sixth floor if LHO only fired 2 shots.

    The agent may not have fired, ballistics show the shot came from his direction, so the shot could have been from further back, or depending on the terrain, much further back.

    The 6mm entrance wound couldn’t have been made by a 6.5mm bullet, but a 5.56mm would be just right.

    More research needs to be done on that third shot, to validate the melon shots shown on the show. Compare the effects of all available types of 6.5 and 5.56 ammunition on more realistic targets.

    It might not have been accidental, the agent might have been a hit man, planted by the Mob, or the Russians, or Cuba to make sure LHO appeared to be successful. He was only with the SS a short time, in the motor pool where he could have been practicing that whole time.

    Whether there was a conspiracy before or just after the crime, LHO would need to be silenced before he said he only fired twice. It would have been no trouble persuading Jack Ruby to help Jackie avoid a trial by just shooting LHO.

    Who knows, maybe Jackie was behind the whole thing in the first place.

    The third shot came much quicker than the second shot and hit a smaller target.

    The SS seems to have been involved with covering up and corrupting the actual autopsy, and seizing photos and notes from everyone there. Their actions seem to confirm the accidental discharge theory, but by not admitting the truth, much more damage was done. They could have admitted what happened and told the American people that they were absolutely sure it was a terrible accident and they were going to keep the agent’s name secret to protect him and his family, and send him out of the country and I believe the people would have accepted that.

  66. Preston Newe says:

    In retrospect, this TV documentary wasn’t all that bad compared to the others broadcast during the JFK50th. The rear trajectory analysis could & should be extended back further than agent Hickey & the ‘hit man in the SS car’ could be looked at closely too. All the JFK amateur footage have breaks in them while JFK’s limo was traversing Houston Street. A person could have stepped from the crowd or ran up from LBJ’s guards car & jumped onto or into the SS car. Scenes are missing for a reason.

    Why was the ambush conducted in Dealey Plaza? Less collateral damage to innocent bystanders (fewer present there than other places in the motorcade route) and the view of the ambush is blocked to the remaining motorcade vehicles & occupants because of the steep drop off. Motorcade vehicles traversing Houston Street would only hear gunfire & see a rifle sticking out of the TSBD sniper’s nest; they wouldn’t be able to see what was happening further down on Elm Street.

    Everything the SS did during & after the ambush looks suspicious in retrospect. LBJ & Jackie should have been taken to nearby Carswell AFB to security & Texas laws honored for JFK’s autopsy. Dallas & Texas investigators would have had an opportunity to examine the parade car. Those who destroyed autopsy photographs should have been arrested on the spot & replacement photos taken.

    I wouldn’t write the entire documentary as worthless, I’d leave Hickey as a last option & explore additional areas. The documentary is not going to sit well with those who believe JFK was shot from the front.

  67. David Allen says:

    I hope everyone gets to read ‘JFK The Smoking Gun’. Finally, a relevant, exhaustive and utterly believable analysis by a thoroughly trained and experienced detective arriving at the only plausible explanation for the death of a President.

  68. sparky says:

    After pouring over books, articles, multiple site visits of Dealy Plaza and a keen interest to know the truth, I found this documentary to be a very interesting, refreshingly different, and seemingly unbiased assesment made by a very credible expert in his field. One thing stands out to me about Mr. Donahue is that he seems to have blended his expertise with plain old common sense….something you rarely see lately. Interviews with his daughter also seem to support a very fact based belief in this theory, void of sensationalism and politics.

    As a kid growing up hunting with everything from 12 gauge shotguns to 30-06 scoped hunting rifles to qualifying in the Army as an expert with the M16 rifle, I have always been fascinated with the “kill” shot and all the theories just simply defy common sense. Mr. Donahue’s conclusion of different firearms and ammunition being used and his ballistic (rather than political or conspiracy motive) analysis was very enlightening and just makes “common sense” without having his ballistic expertise.

    I happen to hold our soldiers and law enforcement in the highest regards and my impression is any allegation of an accident on the part of a federal agent was just a horrible accident in a very emotionally charged and chaotic 5-10 minute window. As those that have handled firearms know, a split second reaction with a finger, plus bad timing, can have life altering ramifications.

    The “facts” I found presented that resounded with me include:
    - the combustion that another type of round (ammunition) was used with a high velocity and a frangile impact was paramount (this means at least two weapons; 5.56mm seems to be the right answer)
    - number of witnesses that smelled gun powder with such a strong wind, coupled with the wind direction, seems to also reasonably argue a second weapon, at the least.
    - the vetting of witnesses by Mr. Specter and exclusion of seemingly
    Relevant eye witness testimony seems to strongly indicate a pre-mediated, public “story” (LBJ, RFk, who knows, but politicians are politicians first….)
    - analysis of Secret Service’s behavior on 11/22, when presented in the context of a possible cover up to protect credibility of the Agency and/or one of its own is extremely plausible

    This reminds me of another cover up orchestrated over a friendly fire incident…The Pat Tillmam story (still a true American hero)….definitely worth watching to understand the political playbook that seems to still be used in America 50 years later.

  69. Bob says:

    The absolutely best theory based on massive research and evidence I have read over the past 50 years.
    Sets this old agonized, saddened mind to rest. Finally. (the book, Not the hokey movie)

  70. [...] whatever?April 19, 2013Anti-Castro militant ties CIA official to Lee Harvey OswaldDecember 2, 2013Reelz Channel to air discredited JFK theoryNovember 3, [...]

  71. Sheryl Phair says:

    Having read Mortal Error recently, the premise seems as reasonable as many of the others. Is it true? Another 25 years before more JFK information is released. I’ll certainly be long gone by then.
    I could see an “accident” by Hickey’s weapon as being supressed. More meaningful that a President of JFK’s caliber being killed by an assassin’s bullet, rather than by one of his protectors. Kennedy was elevated to Lincoln’s status and the funeral was proof of that.
    I watched as John F Kennedy was inaugurated on that frigid Washington D.C. day, all these years ago. I remember that exceptional day and not the horribly sad day in November, 1963.

  72. Matt Murdock says:

    Assume for a moment that JFK was a victim of friendly fire.

    Now re-examine the actions of the SS and the commission.

    It makes a whole lot more sense that these factions were trying to make this thing go as quickly as possible to prevent the world from knowing that Kennedy died of friendly fire from his own SS.

  73. Mariano says:

    EC399 was indeed more deformed than many people consider. The very popular image seen of the bullet appears quite pristine from one angle. However there are additional image/s on record of that exhibit (showing the bullet from a different angle facing the bullet head)that clearly indicates deformation of that bullet. Viewing all the images of EC399 ought to dispel the myth of an unscathed bullet. The magic bullet theory is plausible, and the photographic evidence of the exhibit also supports that.
    With regard to the AR-15, apart from testimonies by SS agents who were in the motorcade, why was the head of the SS almost completely evasive when questioned about the presence of that firearm in the follow-up vehicle? What may have been so peculiar about the JFK assassination, that coincided with the removal of the AR-15 from operations immediately after that day?
    The ballistics evidence adds up in the form of trajectories/witness testimonies/and bullet characteristics/ and injury characteristics, as to present a plausible case for a shot from behind low from left to right.
    The chances of death or injury by friendly fire may well seem slim in terms of probability and media awareness, but such occurrences are an unfortunate reality.

  74. Osmond Portefore says:

    Fact, the rounds associated with Oswald do not relate to JFK’s head wound.

    Fact, JFK’s brain was ‘lost’.

    Fact, though the round fragmented, basic trajectory could have been establish with JFK’s brain, i.e. street level vs depository.

    All must at least admit this is very suspicious. I would have to say anyone who doesn’t is working for the ‘other side’, be the other side right or wrong.

    In my worthless opinion, Hickey accidently nailed JFK with the headshot. This scenario is much more plausible than Oswald making the headshot.

    No evidence exist that points to Oswald making the headshot, and JFK’s brain was ‘lost’. Does anyone think it odd the JFK’s, the assassinated U.S. President, brain – the only piece of evidence that could show trajectory on the kill shot, went missing?

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